Maybe I'm a semi-luddite :-)
"Downloads offer convenience. I can add an Apple TV and conveniently download HD (720p) content NOW for $229 plus download fees, some films I can even buy. Once they get this stepped up to 1080p and maybe even HD audio formats, I will start using one in my reviews and daily life as routinely as Blu-ray and HD DVD."
Only about 50% of America has high speed downloading. And the 50% with high speed downloading don't have the best, such as fibre optic Fios-type connections. None of these downloads will have great audio codecs or the best 1080p video (except for a couple that have 1080p). I doubt that any downloads have the extra features, the directors and stars commentary tracks, and any interactivity.
I work all day and the last thing I want to do after being on the computer at work (among doing other things) is go back to my home computer and download movies. Maybe I will download a fave show I missed.
Netflix, Blockbuster, and all the other shippers of Blu Ray discs are far more convenient to me. I get the best codecs and video available and just have to put the disc in the player. Heck, I find ordering "keepers" online far easier than downloading. And you don't have to pay for multiple terabytes of storage. And how many downloading services allow you to copy the movie for permanent storage? Are there any? And if any do, I bet you can find the same disc online at a cheaper price, plus have all the added featuresets and best audio codecs.
Yes--a lot of people will use downloads, particularly the ones that want to watch shows and don't care about having the best rendition with all the bells and whistles. On movies I love, I totally enjoy listening to the director and actors talking about sundry subjects concerning the movie.
And lord knows what tinkering the studios will do with the digital downloads. They won't be anywhere near as good for quite a few years.
No doubt, many of the MP3 and iPOD crowd who download in lossy codecs and lossy videos probably don't care. To me it is much more fullfilling to OWN the disc and maybe later copy it to hard drive storage.
I know I will be ordering a lot of Blu Ray movies through Netflix and I will buy the ones that I want to watch again and keep in my permanent collection. Plus, having a permanent library of movies in pristine form allows me to have immediate entertainment for friends and dates --before we get down to anything more fun:-) It is also fun to turn people on to excellent movies they haven't seen before.
When I can download "The Full Monty" of featuresets and performance I will make the significant move to multi-terabyte storage. Currently, the quality of the audio and video will keep me in the rental and buying camp for the forseeable future.